Photo By Kim Traynor – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=18256939
George Wishart, 1513 – 1546. A powerful Protestant preacher, he was betrayed to Cardinal Beaton, brought here, put in the Sea Tower, condemned for heresy and burnt at the stake on 1 March. The lettering GW on the roadway marks where he died. His friends conspired against the Cardinal, and on 26 May gained entry to the Castle, killed him and hung his body from the battlements. Then together in the Castle they created the first congregation of the Protestant Church in Scotland.
George Wishart (c. 1513 – 1 March 1546) was a Scottish Protestant Reformer and one of the early Protestant martyrs burned at the stake as a heretic. George Wishart or Wisehart was the son of James and brother of Sir John of Pitarrow, both ranking themselves on the side of the Reformers. He was educated at the University of Aberdeen, then recently founded, and travelled afterwards on the Continent. It is thought that it was while he was abroad that he first turned attention to the study of the Reformed doctrines. He engaged for some time in teaching at Montrose. Wishart afterwards proceeded to Cambridge and resided there for about six years, from 1538-1543. He returned to Scotland in the train of the Commissioners who had been appointed to arrange a marriage with Prince Edward and the Queen of Scots. He preached to the people with much acceptance at Montrose, Dundee, and throughout Ayrshire. On passing East to the Lothians, Wishart, who spoke latterly as in near prospect of death, was apprehended by Bothwell in the house of Cockburn, of Ormiston, and carried captive to St. Andrews, where he was tried by a clerical Assembly, found guilty, and condemned as an obstinate heretic. He was executed next day at the stake on Castle Green, his persecutor, Bethune, looking on the scene from the windows of the castle, where he himself was to be assassinated within three months.
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